Indiana Supreme Court holds statewide opioid summit

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Hundreds of county leaders from across the state are gathering at the Indianapolis Convention Center to take up the fight against opioid abuse.

"The Statewide Opioid Summit: A Medication Assisted Treatment and Addictions Primer for Justice Professionals" focuses on the science behind addiction, treatment options, and tools for communities to use in fighting the epidemic.

The event is sponsored by the Indiana Supreme Court who says it is part of their pledge to help fight the crisis.

Teams of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officers, community leaders and medical professionals are representing each of Indiana's 92 counties.

Sessions include topics on the legal implications of addiction, treating those in jail and helping families affected by the crisis.

According to the National Institute on Drug abuse, there were 794 opioid related deaths in 2016. That year Indiana had the 11th highest opioid prescription rate in the nation. The death rate was 12.6 for every 100,000 people, just below the national average of 13.3.

Because of the dramatic rise in addiction, the Indiana Supreme Court says it's imperative for leaders to work together in fighting the opioid crisis.

The summit is one of many initiatives that began this week.

On Sunday, Walgreen's expanded their drug take back program to 31 locations.

A day later the R-X Abuse Leadership Initiative was announced. The coalition looks to bring business and community leaders together to combat the threat of addiction in the workplace.